Why is driving results, both directly and indirectly, important to leadership? As you think about this topic, say it in your mind with two different emphases. First, DRIVING RESULTS directly and indirectly, and second, driving results DIRECTLY and INDIRECTLY.
When most people read this, “driving results” probably make a lot of sense on the surface. However, it is good to remember that activity is different from results. There are times when someone can drive a lot of action and yet not reach the desired result. That is why, when setting direction, it is good to have measurable goals to ensure you are getting the desired effect, rather than just feeling good about all the activity.
What kind of person does it take to reach those desired results? It takes someone who is action-oriented and willing to take the initiative to dive in and make things happen. It also helps if the person is ready to take on a challenge. Many aspects of leadership start a little fuzzy (see “Moves from Muck to Clarity”) and, without the desire to take on a challenge, you can run out of steam pretty quickly. Through that fuzziness, you have to remove the barriers and roadblocks by keeping the end in mind. Once you have reached your goal, it is good to reflect on the process, what you have learned, and help the organization learn from what went well and what could have gone better.
Now, let’s focus on what is meant by “directly and indirectly.” In a company such as Interstates, we have an inherent challenge. We have team members all over the country, and at times, even around the world. Without the opportunity to directly or indirectly influence people, we would struggle to deliver our solutions consistently, and our brand could suffer. Therefore, we have to be able to drive results in many different ways.
One of the ways we drive results is through our EIL programs. Gathering people from all parts of the company and allowing them to experience leadership training pushes results throughout the organization. Participants don’t only gain book knowledge; EIL also enables them to build relationships that can then be used to drive results and influence beyond their specific areas.
Communication also drives results. As difficult as it is, we need to be creative in our communication methods and styles. Technology has enabled the use of different ways of communicating, but without intentionality, we will struggle. Systems such as InterTrak and Adept can be used for communication and ultimately drive consistent results throughout the organization.
As you can tell, there is no silver bullet. It takes time, energy, and intentionality to, directly and indirectly, drives results (not simply activity) within the organization. As we continue to grow, this will become even more difficult but ultimately even more important as we deliver consistently for our clients.
Continue leading the Interstates Way!